North Antrim MLA and Sinn Féin Economy Spokesperson, Daithí McKay, has said that growth of the economy in the north will continue to be 'sluggish' whilst the British Government maintains decision making over corporation tax, fuel duty and borrowing powers. He was speaking after the Finance Minister made a statement to the Assembly on the impact of the British Government's Autumn statement.
Speaking today Mr McKay said:
"Firstly I think it is important to welcome the exemption that the north will have from the Carbon Price Floor (Tax) as this will have made energy generators in the north uncompetitive in the all-Island energy market in which we operate.
"However this is again an example where we have to lobby and argue for changes in taxation policy rather than set this policy for ourselves. The rate of Corporation Tax has been reduced to 21% by George Osbourne but again this does not suit the north and the economic realities of this island.
"Fuel duty is yet another example where London Treasury policy puts business at a disadvantage here in the north where we have different economic conditions. We need to negotiate for the transfer of these powers and take these decisions for ourselves as it clearly makes economic sense when one puts the proper case forward."
Commenting on projected figures of growth he added:
"George Osbourne's austerity policies have clearly failed and by cutting funding so deeply clearly runs the risk of bringing the wheels of the economy to a halt.
"With the British Government's overhaul of welfare that will hit thousands of working families being implemented here there is a clear disregard for the macroeconomic needs of the north and therefore a clear need for the Assembly and Executive to tailor economic policies for ourselves."